How much fun can you have for $10 these days? Quite a lot if you know where to find it. From catching an art house flick to enjoying a crafty cocktail, here’s the lowdown on the loose-change high life.
1. Mid-week margaritas at Hello José, espresso martini happy hour at Melbourne Public and Spritz Sundays at Good Heavens rooftop
You’ll feel sophisticated at op-shop prices with a $10 cocktail in hand. A midweek margarita at merry Mexican joint Hello José on Wednesday or Thursday? Or an espresso martini at Melbourne Public during their extra-long 4-7pm weekday happy hour? Or, if you prefer a rooftop vibe, head to Good Heavens for $10 Spritzes on Sundays. Choose from five different flavours including the classic Aperol spritz, ‘mandarin tart’ (mandarin, Four Pillars rare dry gin, prosecco, soda, lemon), and ‘forbidden fruit’ (St Germain elderflower, calvados, grenadine and prosecco).
2. Cheap movie nights at Cinema Nova and Kino
Going to the movies is pricey – unless you time it right. On Mondays, tickets are $7 before 4pm and $10 after at Cinema Nova, and $9.50 all day at Kino Cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy millions of dollars in movie-making for peanuts.
3. Cheap comedy during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
There’s cheap comedy all over the city during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Hidden below Swanston St, the Festival Club at Max Watt’s is the place to see the who’s who of comedy. Head down on a Thursday night to see 10 comedians for just $10. Around the corner, the Imperial Hotel hosts a stand-up show, 5 For 5 At 5 with a new selection of comics added daily. At $5 (plus booking fee) it’s the cheapest show in town – running every day throughout the Comedy Festival, shows start at 5pm with additional later time added.
4. Tuesday and Thursday night burlesque and vaudeville at Speakeasy HQ
Speakeasy HQ knows you don’t have to splash a lot of cash for a good time. Their Tuesday and Thursday nights Burlesque and Vaudeville sessions features jazz, circus and sideshow acts: four hours of vaudeville-style entertainment for just $9. With happy hour drink specials and their tasty house nachos, it’s worth staying out on a school night.
5. $6 pizzas at El Coco and Bangkok Noodle soups at Soi 38
Named after the palm tree planted in the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba in 1862, El Coco is a colourful bar with a reasonably priced, Cuban-inspired menu and great cocktails. You’ll find arancini and popcorn chicken for $9 but, best of all, the pizzas are $6 all day, every day. Anyone for the lamb pizza, topped with potato, caramelised onion, sour cream and tender lamb shoulder?
Or, if Thai is more your thing, head to Soi 38 to try one of their delicious Bangkok noodle soups for $10. Their location is also a talking point – they’re hidden away in the ground floor of a carpark.
6. Swim at Melbourne City Baths
After all that indulgence you may need a little healthy living, but that doesn’t have to mean pricey personal training or wellness retreats. Swim at the beautiful heritage Melbourne City Baths for less than $7, and let the day’s stresses melt away.
7. Explore the city with Melbourne Bike Share
Whether you’re a local without wheels or a visitor wanting to get around easily, Melbourne Bike Share is for you. Look for the racks of blue bikes around town and get yourself a day pass for $3 or $8 for a week. Hit the Capital City Trail, which takes in Melbourne highlights such as the Zoo, Southbank and Royal Botanic Gardens. Or follow the Yarra River to the bay along the Main Yarra Trail.
8. Beer paddle at Hophaus
If you’re more of a beer kind of guy or gal, the tasting paddle at Hophaus is always $10. Choose four beers from the nine on tap and ponder a trip to Bavaria.
9. Coffee Cupping at Seven Seeds
In a coffee mood? One of Melbourne’s pedigree coffee roasters and retailers, Seven Seeds offers cupping sessions on Wednesday mornings for a $4 donation. Women for Women in Africa get the cash, and you learn about and appreciate several premium coffees’ body, sweetness, acidity and flavour.
10. All-you-can-eat Indian at Om Vegetarian
Love Indian? Om Vegetarian offer delicious, healthy and super-filling, all-you-can-eat vegetarian meals for $6.50. Enjoy an Indian feast of vegetarian curries, dhal, rice and naan bread. There’s also a vegan option available upon request. Om has four locations including Capitol Arcade, Collins Street, Elizabeth Street and Spencer Street, West Melbourne.